Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dow ends above 11,000 on Fed hopes

(Reuters) - The Dow closed above the 11,000 mark for the first time in five months on Friday as a surprisingly weak jobs report strengthened the case for more stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

While a loss of 95,000 jobs normally might be expected to hurt stocks, the market's desire for cheap money trumped concerns about the slow economy.

"It was almost as if the market was cheering for a bad report to try to solidify that the Fed would engage in quantitative easing," said Scott Marcouiller, chief technical market strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis.

Agriculture-related shares surged in sync with U.S. corn and soybean futures after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the corn crop is likely to be far smaller than expected. Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT - News) rose 2.1 percent to $80.37 and gave the biggest boost to the Dow industrials.

A construction and farm machinery sector index (^15GSPMCHD - News) rose 2.6 percent on the belief U.S. grain farmers will use some of their profits from higher crop prices to buy new tractors and harvesting equipment. (more)

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